Here are some of the scripture readings for Holy Week. Suggestion: Print this posting and read a different passage each day and think about it
(some questions are offered to help stimulate your reflection).
You'll find your experience of worship this week will be intensified.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006 Maundy Thursday
, Year B
Episcopal Revised Common Lectionary
The Gospel for Maundy Thursday John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour
had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having
loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon
Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the
Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come
from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off
his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured
water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to
wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to
Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my
feet?" Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but
later you will understand." Peter said to him, "You will never
wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no
share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only
but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has
bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is
entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." For he
knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of
you are clean."
After he had washed their feet, had put on his
robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you
know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and
you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and
Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one
another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also
should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants
are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater
than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are
blessed if you do them.
"Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been
glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also
glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little
children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for
me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where I am
going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you
love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love
one another. By this everyone will know that you are my
disciples, if you have love for one another.
What does it mean to you that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples?
How might you have felt
Thursday, April 14, 2006 -- Good Friday The First Reading on Good Friday
Isaiah 52:13-15, 53:1-12
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were
astonished at him --so marred was his appearance, beyond human
semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals-- so he shall
startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of
him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and
that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of
been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young
plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or
majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance
that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by
others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as
one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we
held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and
carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down
by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made
us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep
have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord
has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he
was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is
led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers
is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of
justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the
transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and
there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord
to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for
sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord
shall prosper. Out of his
anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through
his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many
righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will
allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil
with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was
numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and
made intercession for the transgressors. ______________________
This suffering servant passage is one of the most remarkable in all of scripture.
When have you seen or experienced vicarious suffering?
When have you recognize that the way in which the righteous often suffer at the hands of wrongdoers can lead to a new perception of the meaning of suffering?
How can the righteous individual bear the sin of many who are guilty?
How does this passage connect with the crucifixion of Jesus?
1 Cor 15:1-11
Then Peter began to speak to them: "I truly understand that God
shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and
does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he
sent to the people of Israel
, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he
is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea
after the baptism that John announced: how God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power;
how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed
by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that
he did both in Judea
and in Jerusalem
. They put him to death by
hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and
allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were
chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after
he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people
and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the
living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that
everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through
This is Peter's witness, his version of what the good news of Jesus means to him.
What is your witness?
How would you explain to someone what the good news of Jesus means to you?
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Give thanks to the Lord
, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
now proclaim, *
"His mercy endures for ever."
is my strength and my song, *
and he has become my salvation.
There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:
"The right hand of the Lord
the right hand of the Lord
the right hand of the Lord
I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the Lord
has punished me sorely, *
but he did not hand me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the Lord
"This is the gate of the Lord
he who is righteous may enter."
I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord's
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
On this day the Lord
has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
On Easter we proclaim the victory of Jesus.
What has Jesus triumphed over?
Give as many answers as you can.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news
that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which
also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you
hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you
have come to believe in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first
importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our
sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried,
and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the
scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters
at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all,
as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the
least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I
persecuted the church of God
. But by the grace of God I am what I
am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the
contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or
they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
We have here some of the earliest content of the message of the early church.
Some of it sounds like the beginnings of what will evolve into our creeds.
How does Paul personally appropriate the teaching he has received?
For him, it moves from theology or story to something deeply personal.
How is the story and teaching deeply personal in you?
What does the resurrection mean to you?
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint
him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun
had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one
another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance
to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which
was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the
tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on
the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do
not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was
crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the
place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he
is going ahead of you to Galilee
; there you will see him, just as
he told you." So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror
and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone,
for they were afraid.
Vividly re-live this experience as if you were there with the women.
What do you see, hear, smell, taste, touch?
What are your feelings and reactions?
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